With no precise intentions, no deadlines to meet, no route mapped out, James Barclay strolled across Borneo for five months on his own. Sometimes he travelled in boats or dugout canoes, sometimes he walked, but he always stayed with the local people in their longhouses and joined in their festivals and ceremonies.
He was free to roam where he pleased, moving from one village to the next, participating in fishing, trading, pig sticking and hunting with blowpipes.
In this way he travelled around Sarawak, penetrated deep into the Kelabit Highlands, and then continued his journey by crossing into Indonesian Kalimantan. He paints a sympathetic picture of the various tribes he meets, such as the Penans, I bans and Kayans, of the changes wrought in their society by encroaching civilisation and the influence of missionaries, and their lifestyle, customs and traditions.